The Journey

Pilgrims and yaks walk the Tibetan Buddhist "kora," or pilgrimage.

It’s a pilgrimage,
like a trek around Mount Kailash,
or perhaps Bodh Gaya,
but it’s life itself,
the whole thing, every moment.

On the high passes of Mount Kailash,
pilgrims hope for a kind of death,
a rebirth of spirit,
and it’s not a bad thing to go there, do that,
if time and money allow.

But what of this journey of every day,
and what can we learn from the pilgrims there?
They, light-headed in the altitude,
gasping in amazement
at the alternation of clear, bright sunlight
and windblown snows
amid the vast, craggy highlands
and steep, worn paths.

It seems to me a wind blows here
from Mount Kailash or somewhere,

and so we pilgrims of sidewalk and parking lot
are sometimes taken unawares —
not so much by windblown snows
as by apples in the supermarket,
or sunshine through the trees
next to the school.
We gasp in amazement,
lifted from our everyday selves,
for no reason at all.

Let it be a pilgrimage each day,
and may our journeys all be blessed.